Why Do I Sometimes Wake Up Early After a Night of Drinking?

Anyone having consumed alcohol in the evening knows that it can act as a sedative. Some folks even have a drink at bedtime to help them sleep. But if you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night or early morning and wondered why, here’s the answer.

Doctors Timothy Roehrs and Thomas Roth from the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders Center report that while alcohol may be good at getting you to go to sleep, it also disturbs the second half of your sleep cycle. The body, as smart as it is, makes certain adjustments to your sleep cycle when it detects alcohol in the system. However, once all the alcohol is processed by your body, these previously made adjustments to the sleep cycle continue, and that usually results in you waking up. They call it the re-bound effect.

Let's look at an example. Maureen goes to bed at midnight, when her BACtrack S80 tells her that her BAC is 0.06%. Seeing as the average person processes alcohol at 0.015% per hour, it would take Maureen about four hours to process all the alcohol in her system. There's a good chance she’ll wake up, at least momentarily, at 4am.

Want to have a complete and undisturbed night’s sleep? Use a BACtrack Breathalyzer to ensure you are at 0.00% BAC before you hit the hay and wake up rested!